There are news stories about Fake News beginning to pop up a lot now. Many of us have realized for months that much of what is being put out as news about the election is completely, or at least mostly, false. Yet it spreads like wildfire and the reason it works is because so many people are gullible for it. Sure, some stories are easy to believe, but once they are proven false, some people continue to believe them anyway, and many that see the truth in that instance will go on and believe the next one without questioning it.
Just In: FBI Agent and His Wife Found Deceased After He Was Suspected of Leaking Hillary Emails
That was the headline of the Denver Guardian about a month ago, and repeated on their web site. The only problems are that there really is no Denver Guardian and the story is completely made up. That story flooded Facebook pages and the internet in general. It became so trending that legitimate media sources picked it up. Turns out that the story was from Jestin Coler, founder and CEO of Disinfomedia, which owns many fake news sources.
We have seen fake news at the checkout stands for decades. Intelligent people do not believe them, yet they continue to make millions every year from people who do believe them.
So why do so many people believe all the fake news out there? Partly because it is well written (sometimes), partly because some truth is mixed in to make it sound more believable, and partly because some gullible people want to hear bad news about someone or something so badly that they will believe garbage.
Though Coler hid his ownership pretty well, NPR enlisted an expert to track him down. And they found he had many false news fronts and had been doing it for some time. Originally he had intended to infiltrate the alt-right and publish false stories, then prove they were false to discredit the alt-right. His education was in political science and he enjoys the ideas of propoganda and misinformation.
So why did he stop trying to make the right look bad with fake news and go after the left? It turns out the left is not as gullible as the right. "We've tried to do similar things to liberals. It just has never worked, it never takes off. You'll get debunked within the first two comments and then the whole thing just kind of fizzles out." But the right just gobbles up the fake news stories. Coler stated that he owns about 25 domains, though not all of them are fake news. In addition, he had numerous Facebook pages (Facebook has since cracked down on fake news pages).
Look at these documents from a doctor showing that Hillary is having seizures and suffering dementia.
Anybody familiar with medical reports will notice that this is not in the correct form. The doctor is real, but the position she has is misstated, and this is the same doctor who gave the letter stating that Hillary is fully competent and healthy to become president, and that doctor released a statement that these documents did not come from her.
Why do people make these fake news accounts? Some do it just for fun, some for the money. Many for a combination of the two. How do they become so viral? The people who promote fake news have facebook pages that divert people to their web pages where they are treated to stories they want to hear. They then pass on the links to others. And many times, as fake stories about Hillary gained ground, Trump pointed to them to support false claims about Hillary.
Even the stories which have some basis in fact are distorted. She did use a personal email server for classified info which was wrong. But the experts in investigation and prosecution found that there was no evidence that she had done things so bad as to warrant the prosecution and she would have been found not guilty.
She did defend an accused child rapist. That was a job she did not choose but was handed to her as a public defender. The right to legal counsel is part of our system, and anyone who is against the right to a defense is against the American way. She was heard laughing about mistakes the prosecutor made, but that was not laughing about the crime, which many people accuse her of.
So we have someone investigated by federal agencies, sometimes more than once for the same alleged crimes, and was not found to have enough evidence against her to prosecute. Yet the fake news stories keep going out and gullible people believe them. It would be simple enough to research these things ourselves and find the truth. But for those to lazy to do so, there is Snopes.com, which digs deeply into many stories and tells us if they are true, false, or in between. But still, people prefer to believe whatever fits their mood.